August 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime
As far as group efforts go, today’s real wedding is going to take some serious beating. Amazingly, with the help of their incredible family and friends, Hettie & Tabz, planned and pulled off a wedding for 450 guests! That’s right 4-5-0!
Marrying at Hettie’s home church, everyone packed in to see this super-popular couple tie the knot before moving onto an activity centre and marquees in Burrs County Park, for a fun reception with cool festival wedding vibes.
With everyone keen to offer their services, skills and talents, family and friends helped to take care of everything from the attire, transport, food and cake, right through to the evening entertainment. Now that’s how you call in a favour – or two, or three….
With images by Paul & Nanda
hettie says: We got engaged exactly eight months after we got together. I went on a treasure hunt type adventure with my mum to various places that were special to Tabz and I (including our first date location) where different friends were situated with the next clue. The final clue led us to a church building where many of my friends and family were. They were lined up outside and around the corridors that I followed until I reached the top of the staircase to see Tabz stood at the bottom. As I approached him, he got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I obviously said yes (why wouldn’t I? He’s wonderful!) and a band consisting of our friends began to play ‘our song’ (For Once In My Life) and we partied the night away with our friends and family. It was brilliant!
We set the date for 27th May 2017. Logic told us that a Bank Holiday before half-term school holidays would be easier for us and others, especially family who live further afield.
Our ceremony was at Life Church Lancashire in Burnley, which is my home church. The building is incredible, I have many great memories there, and I couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. Also, with more than 450 people attending, it was the only church building big enough anyway!
The reception was at Burrs Country Park, in Bury. We used the Activity Centre and field to create a summer festival as there was plenty of space to do so. The venue was very different to traditional weddings, which meant we did everything ourselves, with much help from great friends and family.
Our theme was ‘Be a blessing’. Those who attended our wedding have been such a blessing to us individually and as a couple that we wanted to bless them as much as we could throughout the day. We also wanted this to reflect our faith and encourage others to bless one another too.
Our base colours were black, white and grey, with pops of yellow, light pink, bright pink, orange and green. We wanted our colours to reflect our personalities and the fun, festival party.
I struggled with the idea of going dress shopping and having a stranger help you decide such an important outfit (whilst you’re practically naked!). A friend suggested that I looked at the wedding dress that one of my bridesmaids, Sue, wore. She looked gorgeous and it seemed like the kind of dress that could suit me. I tried it on and loved it! Sue gave me the dress to do whatever I wanted with (I told you people are such a blessing to us) and it was an honour to wear the wedding dress of such an amazing lady.
June 12th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Regular readers of the blog will know that Brides Up North fully endorse festival weddings, so much so that we now dedicate several of our wedding fairs to this style of celebration with our epic WEDFEST tour that travelled the north of the country in May.
Fresh on the other side of those uber cool events, we were thrilled to receive the wonderful big day of Michelle and James who demonstrate how it’s done with their fun and fabulous big day in the Yorkshire Dales.
To achieve the colourful and carefree vibe for their festival style wedding, Michelle, James and an army of friends and family descended on their chosen venue with streamers, pompoms and plant chandeliers, transforming its blank canvas into something pretty awesome!
Cue a big, brave, DIY-flavour wedding with bold flamingo and pineapple motifs, tattoos and glitter, a gin bar and mezze-style food.
All of this styled out against the rolling hills of the Dales, plus a timeless La Sposa dress. We spoil you, we really do…
With images by Masha Unwerth
michelle says: We got engaged at home 20th April 2016. James bought a huge bunch of tulips, my favourite flower, and left a trail of petals through the house leading to more tulips spread around the living room. I found him down on one knee with a lovely sapphire engagement ring.
We had two weddings (I know, greedy) – the first was a legal ceremony on the 20th of April, exactly one year to the day we got engaged. This was a smaller affair with a registrar and just our immediate family.
Our second wedding on the 22nd of April with 120 of our nearest and dearest friends and family. It was conducted by two of our closest friends, who wrote the ceremony without our assistance, so there were a couple of surprises!
We got hitched at Natural Retreats in the Yorkshire Dales, and had both our ceremony and reception there. It’s a beautiful site with accommodation for nearly 100 guests. We were able to have a whole weekend of parties and got to spend quality time with everyone instead of feeling rushed. The venue was a blank canvas which we transformed with a small army of volunteers who hung, draped and stuck – they basically built an amazing wedding for us!
We chose a few very loose themes: gin, pineapples and flamingos. We also chose to create three rooms, each with a distinct ‘feel’.
The main ceremony/dance space and bar were as colourful and fun as we could make them with a bit of a festival vibe. We added a photo booth, a glitter and tattoo station and built our own bars from pallets which looked fantastic. James’ friend Pencil Girl created our wedding stationery and we had the design printed into temporary tattoos.
In the dining room we wanted a very clean and classy look with lots of plants instead of flowers. We created our own hanging foliage ‘chandeliers’, built and planted the table centrepieces ourselves and each table was assigned a gin bottle instead of table numbers.
I chose a La Sposa wedding dress from a boutique in Manchester. I decided it was the one for me because of the beautiful detail in the bodice and the plain but flowing skirt and train. The A-line cut suited my shape and I loved wearing it all day!
James did a lot of research into what he wanted to wear and chose to have a suit made by Beggars Run in East London, which he absolutely loved. He accessorised with Ted Baker shoes and socks, a vintage pocket watch (a gift from me) and Tatty Devine cufflinks.
The chief bridesmaid, my best friend Laura, chose a dress from Coast. It had a navy blue top with a turquoise skirt and floral detailing. The dress wasn’t a traditional bridesmaid’s dress but it went perfectly with the relaxed feel of the day. We also had two flower girls who both wore ivory dresses with a navy waist band from Etsy.
May 20th, 2017 | Julia Braime
The wait is OVER! #WEDSTIVAL’17 is FINALLY here!
Capesthorne Hall, Congelton Road, Macclesfield
Sunday 21st May 2017, 11am till 4pm
FREE entry for registered brides plus a FREE VIP media pack whilst stocks last.
bride to be?
Please register for free entry to WEDSTIVAL’17 for you and your party.
We’re giving away up to 300 free Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North. As demand is high, to pick up your media pack all you need to do is fill in the form below. While stocks last.
Brides Up North in association with Shades, Big Chief Tipis, Capesthorne Hall, UNVEILED Magazine and the North West’s finest wedding industry suppliers are proud to host the UK’s original and finest dedicated festival wedding fairs in 2017.
We’ve just celebrated two absolutely EPIC weekends on the trot at Stockeld Park and Ormesby Hall (photos coming very soon!) but we’re not ready to hang up our flower crowns yet… oh no! The WEDFEST’17 TOUR continues!
With free entry for you and your bridal party and open 11am till 4pm, on Sunday 21st May 2017 Capesthorne Hall will be transformed into a wedding wonderland!
There’ll be a huge sail cloth tent, tipi hats, vintage MASH tent, a blow up pub (yes really!), a honeymoon bell tent, Pimms, prosecco, street food – and drink, LOTS of drink! – vendors (so stay for lunch and a tipple or ten!), a cars and campers, live music, bridal fashion – including a brilliant designer dress sale and a pop up boutique with gowns starting at just a fraction of the original price! – and 60+ luxury wedding suppliers covering absolutely all the details to make all your wedding planning ideas a reality.
All under cover in our warm and weatherproof outdoor wedding structures and the grand building itself, come rain or shine (we know you love a bit of drizzle and we come prepared!), we’ve got your inspiration sorted.
Bring your bridesmaids, designate a driver, wear flowers in your hair and make a day of it… this is set to be an event to remember, and it won’t cost you or your wedding party a penny!
Use the hashtag #WEDSTIVAL17 to follow the event build up across all our social media feeds.
Images from previous events by Peace Wedding Photography and Jonny Draper Photography.
September 23rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Today’s bride and groom should be awarded some kind of medal for the amount of time and effort that they put into the preparations for their beautiful homemade festival wedding.
Taking place in a lambing shed on the family farm, Becky and Jim roped in lots of family and friends to help transform the space from a sparse barn into a chic rustic backdrop for their big day celebrations.
We just love all the thoughtful and fitting touches that added to their unique day; from a tractor ride to the reception and all the personal décor and entertainment choices, to the fabulous hay bale bride and groom. Seriously guys, nice work!
With images by Lois Photography.
becky says: We got engaged in Reykjavik on New Year’s Eve 2013. Jim had arranged a trip there as a Christmas present – even corresponding with my boss so that I could have the time off work. He proposed at midnight whilst we were standing watching the fireworks outside Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral.
Our wedding date was 18th July 2015. We held our reception at Jim’s parents’ farm (in the lambing shed) so we had to choose a date when lambing time would be over, and which gave us a good couple of weeks to get the place ready!
We had the ceremony at Heaton House Farm in Cheshire, which I’d highly recommend to others. It was perfect for us as we knew we didn’t want a church as neither of us are religious, and we didn’t want a registry office either. Finding somewhere that we could just turn up, get married and go again did prove to be quite difficult as a lot of places expect you to have the whole day there. We initially spoke to Mick from Heaton House at a wedding fair and knew pretty much straight away that the venue was right for us. It’s a working farm as well as a wedding venue, so it made perfect sense!
As Jim and I huge music fans and have been to countless gigs and festivals during the ten years that we’ve been together, the wedding was always going to be very music focussed. I work at a creative agency, so luckily had a team of excellent graphic designers on hand to design the wedding stationery exactly as I wanted it. Our save the date cards were designed to look like gig tickets, and the music theme just rolled from there.
We borrowed two huge speakers from a friend, and spent months compiling different Spotify playlists to play throughout the day. For example, the music playing whilst everyone arrived at the farm for the reception was a selection of different bands that we’ve seen together, so it was pretty diverse! It went from Fleetwood Mac to Wild Beasts to Bon Iver, so whilst it wasn’t ‘traditional wedding music’ it had a very special significance to us – and it did get a little bit more mainstream for the evening to make sure the dancefloor was full!
Because we had so much space to play with, we decided to use one of the fields for people to camp in, which then led us onto a festival theme. I think there was around 30 tents in all – including one for us!
I was never really bothered about a set colour scheme. People kept asking me about it and telling me I should have one, but it didn’t ever seem like something that was necessary to our plans. I suppose the colour palette was more pastel shades than anything, but really, as long as the colours complemented each other, I wasn’t that fussy!
May 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime
As couples continue to get creative with their big days the options on styling, venue and setting seem almost endless.
So how’s a girl (and guy) to choose? The time of the year will ultimately play a part with couples less keen to take their celebrations outdoors during the colder months. Also, how much effort and spends a couple want to put into the styling will need to be considered – so a lavish five star hotel will generally not need as much décor as say a barn or tipi wedding, though the later allows for far more creativity and freedom.
Then there’s accommodation and catering to think about – would you want to go traditional fine dining or for something a little more alternative, such as a barbecue, afternoon tea or sharing boards?
Keen to offer inspiration for all couples, we here at Brides Up North HQ have recently expanded our luxury wedding exhibition offering to include a number of fabulous outdoor festival themed wedding fairs, in addition to our existing events held in grand and exclusive venues across the north.
With all this in mind, today we’re debating two very different styles of weddings that would tick the boxes for us Brides Up North gals!
rachel says: indoor elegance
I’m continuously super impressed by couples’ ability to think outside the box and do their big day their way with celebrations that are both individual and inventive. That said, I always find myself drawn to the simple and timeless weddings that have more of a traditional vibe.
Maybe I just don’t have the creative vision that others do, or maybe it’s growing up with thoughts of the perfect princess-like wedding in my head?
I’m personally not one for gimmicks, which is why I like the simplicity of a traditional wedding and for such an important occasion I like the safety of the indoors. I’m the type of girl that visits the hairdressers on a clear sky, sunny day and yet always finds myself in a relentless downpour when I leave – for my wedding I just don’t think I could take the risk.
I’d still want to pick a venue with lovely grounds in which elements such as the drinks reception could take place, though the majority of the proceedings would be under cover.
I’m thinking a beautifully decorated period venue with lots of natural light during the day and lit by romantic candlelight at night. I’d love a grand dining room with long tables anchored by stunning floral arrangements down the centre, interspersed with pillar candles and tea lights. And as a foodie, an elegant three-course meal would be right up my street before dancing the night away.
Overall the real beauty of an indoor wedding for me can be the convenience of on-site accommodation, which you don’t usually get when hosting a wedding outdoors. This is not only for the bonus of getting ready at the venue on the morning of the wedding, but also for guests to nip back to and freshen up throughout the day and, of course, for everyone to easily retire (stagger) to at the end of the night. Plus, thankfully it means just a short crawl back to the dining room for breakfast with your nearest and dearest the following day.
julia says: outdoor rustic
I’ve always been an “indoor kinda girl”, generally preferring five star boutique hotels to camping or glamping. So, when it came to my wedding day, I followed suit, and it was indoor luxury all the way.
Although I wouldn’t change anything about my own big day, I’ve recently found my head turned by other types of celebration, and have felt the distinct draw of the great outdoors.
It helps that we’re smack bang in the middle of our series of Brides Up North Festival Wedding Fairs, and that the sun is shining outside as I write this, but as I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many fantastic festival style and outdoor suppliers over the past year in the build up to our huge events that I’ve realised that I might have been too hasty in my judgment.
Firstly, the huge sailcloth and tipi tents available for your outdoor wedding are not akin to the thin, freezing tents that stuck to my face during my Duke Of Edinburgh days (enough to put me off hiking for life!). These are warm and weatherproof structures that are great in all weathers – cool in the summer, warm in the winter – and withstand even the most horrid weather conditions. Fun and fabulous, these tents add a stylish and different edge to your wedding celebration before it even starts.
Secondly, with an outdoor wedding comes loads of extra space for quirky extras like garden games, styling details, Prosecco vans (I’ve just discovered the sheer joy of these!), vintage caravan photo booths and even huge white bouncy castles. What’s not to love?
I may be a little biased at the moment… you might have noticed that we are still on a high from WEDSTOCK’16 last weekend and looking ahead with glee to WEDSTIVAL’16 at Capesthorne Hall next Sunday 22nd May (find out more and register here)… but if you come prepared, to me an outdoor celebration has very little downside, even in a downpour. Embrace the wellies, collect your Prosecco before passing GO! and look forward to some awesome wedding photos afterwards!
what you said on social
Alana says: “I’m currently planning an outdoor wedding and I’m loving making lots of the decoration for the marquee, with the help of friends and family. It means we can have the wedding exactly as we want it and feel the personal, homemade touches will make it all the more memorable.”
Jodie says: “I’m at the beginning of the wedding planning and am totally torn! I’d always thought I would have a church wedding followed by a lovely hotel reception but seeing more outdoor weddings has got me a tipi wedding would be really cool and a little different. Help!”
Emma says: “We are sticking to tradition with an indoor wedding at an historic venue with lots of character. Instead of adding lots of details we will be letting the venue speak for itself and hope to make use of its gorgeous grounds for the drinks reception, though have a Plan B just in case the unpredictable British weather strikes.”
May 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Stockeld Park, Harrogate Road, Wetherby, LS22 4AN
Sunday 8th May 2016, 11am till 4pm
FREE entry for registered brides plus a FREE VIP media pack whilst stocks last.
Ladies and gents, it’s time. It’s #WEDSTOCK16! And we can’t wait to see you there!
Brides Up North in association with Shades, Tipi Chic, Curious Tent Hire, Stockeld Park and Yorkshire’s finest wedding industry suppliers are proud to host the UK’s first dedicated large scale festival wedding exhibition in 2016. With free entry for you and your bridal party and open 11am till 4pm, on Sunday 8th May 2016 Stockeld Park will be transformed into a wedding wonderland!
There’ll be a huge sail cloth tent, tipi hats, an arched wedding tent, a vintage MASH tent, bell tents, an Indian cupola tent, chill out areas, a Pimm’s tent, street food vendors (so stay for lunch!), lakeside cafe, picnic area, cars and campers, live music, bridal fashion, a bloom bar, and 60 luxury wedding suppliers covering absolutely all the details to make all your festival wedding planning ideas a reality.
All under cover in our warm and weatherproof outdoor wedding structures, come rain or shine, we’ve got your inspiration sorted. Bring your bridesmaids, designate a driver, wear flowers in your hair and make a day of it… this is set to be an event to remember, and it won’t cost you or your wedding party a penny
Use the hashtag #WEDSTOCK16 to follow the event build up across all our social media feeds.
bride to be?
Please register for free entry to WEDSTOCK16 for you and your party.
We’re also giving away up to 300 free Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North. As demand is high, to pick up your media pack all you need to do is fill in the form below. While stocks last.
Images by Darren Mack.
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